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Basically this morning, I decided to format my Win7 as it was getting really slow and I did so with no problems. I also have a Linux Mint OS on dual boot. Since I was springcleaning my windows partition, I decided it was a good idea to do the same to my linux partition.

I downloaded the latest version of Linux Mint (Julia) and burned the LiveCD. Now here is where the problem lies, when I restarted Windows and chose to boot from the LiveCD, it didn't work. No joke. There was just a little underscore blinking for a long time before it went back to GRUB which prompted me to select an OS to boot.

However, when I went into my old Linux Mint OS and restarted the machine, the LiveCD worked... to a certain extent. It would load and look as though it was ready to install Linux Mint 10 but the moment it got to the option screen, the whole screen turned into a checkered and jumbled mess.

At this point I thought it was the LiveCD or the .iso file. I had an Ubuntu LiveUSB for recovery purposes and I tried that. The exact same thing happened. Can't boot the LiveUSB if I restarted from Windows, but works when I reboot from Linux. BUT still the same checkered screen that doesnt respond.

Did a bit of googling and reckoned it might be something wrong with my GRUB. Did some updating and didnt make a difference.

Then I tried the Super Grub Disk and STUPIDLY uninstalled GRUB. (Note that booting to SGD had the exact same problem - can't be done if I rebooted from Windows). Now I can't access my Linux Mint 9 cos the the bootup screen (mbr) only has Windows 7 as an option.

Remember me mentioning that I can't boot from any CD/USB/recovery CD when I reboot from Windows? And now that I can't access Linux, there's no way for me to do any form of recovery!

I've tried using the command prompt utility at startup recovery but to no avail.

Anyone can help me with this?

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I've managed to get the Super Grub Disk booting again - which gives me access to all my installed OSes, but the checkerboard problem still exists when I try to run any LiveCD/USB, be it ubuntu or linuxmint. –  Reuben L. Mar 6 '11 at 4:46
    
Adding more information: My laptop comes with a hidden partition for recovery. The next partition is my Windows 7 followed by data partitions that don't have OSes installed. Using GParted, I noticed that my Linux partitions were part of an extended partition. Could that be the problem? –  Reuben L. Mar 6 '11 at 4:51
    
Alright I have made some headway, seems like its a driver-related issue between my Nvidia GTS360M card and Ubuntu 10.10 and its derivatives (Mint 10 is based on Ubuntu 10.10). –  Reuben L. Mar 6 '11 at 5:09
    
SOLVED! Problem #1: CD/USB can't boot - SOLUTION: Turns out that I needed to let the disks spin a wee bit longer (after 2 beebs) before choosing to boot to it. Problem #2: Checkered screen problem - SOLUTION: Turns out that Ubuntu 10.10 and its derivatives have an issue with several GFX cards. Had to boot using "nomodeset" instead of quiet splash (press F6 for installation boot and "e" at GRUB after its installed/first boot). Thanks guys. Even though it wasn't a hardware failure, it was still related, so thanks Harrymc for pointing me in the right way! –  Reuben L. Mar 6 '11 at 6:12
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3 Answers

Take a look at Plop - it may help you in getting the system to boot how you want it. It can be installed in so many different ways there must be a way you can use it.

It should allow you back into your linux at least.

http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html

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i see some light! thanks. will update if it works. –  Reuben L. Mar 5 '11 at 12:28
    
sadly, it doesnt work... plop doesnt seem to recognize my linux partitions and it perpetually gives a NO CDROM / USB found message even though they are attached (these are bootable on their own albeit with the graphical glitch). –  Reuben L. Mar 5 '11 at 12:35
    
Ok, here's a radical idea... Virtual machine (VirtualBox OSE) in windows using the entire phycical HDD as it's hard drive and an image of the Linux CD to boot from - boot the CD in that and install grub? There's a chance it could cripple the HDD completely, but I doubt it. –  Majenko Mar 5 '11 at 12:39
    
I'm not sure if I understand you completely but wouldn't the VM software create a VM file that represents a harddisk (however big it is) rather than actually writing on it like a normal machine? If that's the case, I still won't be able to boot physically to my Linux partition... –  Reuben L. Mar 5 '11 at 13:11
    
do you happen to know how to remove Plop? –  Reuben L. Mar 5 '11 at 13:20
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What you describe looks quite fishy :

  1. There is no reason for Windows 7 to all of a sudden become super-slow.
    In fact, it is supposed to be as fast as XP.
  2. For boot CDs not to work is really weird if the CD itself is in good shape.

Do I smell a hardware problem ?

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I doubt it. Windows 7 getting slow due to the amount of software I've been installing and the lack of maintenance (e.g. defrag). It seems more like a conflict. –  Reuben L. Mar 5 '11 at 16:20
    
Installed and unused software doesn't slow down the computer. Defrag is really of very little use or effect. That is, installed software only matters if you have become infected. –  harrymc Mar 5 '11 at 16:33
    
Mostly I'm referring to the slow booting process cos of all the background processes being called. But that aside, I doubt its the diskdrive itself, since I can boot SGD. Next likely suspect is the GPU, which hasn't been giving me problems (I dunno but normally when my GPU is dying on me I get BSODs all the time). –  Reuben L. Mar 6 '11 at 4:50
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

SOLVED!

Problem #1: LiveCD/USB and SGD can't boot - SOLUTION: Turns out that I needed to let the disks spin a wee bit longer (after 2 beebs) before choosing to boot to it. Was imagining things when I said it didn't work after rebooting from windows and did after rebooting from linux.

Problem #2: Checkered screen problem when trying to install/boot using LiveCD - SOLUTION: Turns out that Ubuntu 10.10 and its derivatives have an issue with several GFX cards (mine's a GTS360M). Had to boot using "nomodeset" instead of "quiet splash" (press F6 for installation boot and make changes to the boot script) and did the same in GRUB by pressing "e" at GRUB after my Mint 10 was installed and was entering a first boot. The last step was to install the drivers so that it never happens again.

Thanks guys. Even though it wasn't a hardware failure, it was still related, so thanks Harrymc for pointing me in the right direction!

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